The Federalists vs. The Anti-Federalists
When the revolutionary war was over, the American colonists had found
themselves free of British domination.Due to the fact that they were free
from British control, they wanted to create their own system of government where
tyranny would be practically diminished. Originally, the separate states were
connected by The Articles of Confederation. But this document gave the central
government no power of their own. Because of this, the states had many problems
in international politics since they had just found freedom and did not have the
respect of other countries. This caused a lot of thinking and it was decided that
a document needed to be created to strengthen the central government and at the same
time ensuring the safety of the states. So came to be the constitution. The
constitution brought about a division between the American people. These two groups
were the federalists, who believed that the constitution was good, and the anti-federalists
who thought that the constitution would not be able to protect the rights of the people.
These two groups had conflicting views but together, they both wanted the same thing.
The same thing was that America should be controlled by the people by the principles
Both groups, the federalist and anti-federalists recognized the fact that
power was being abused. They witnessed what had happened in the war and that their
had been negative effects of power and the result was very clear. British vocation had
made them very aware of the threat of corruption. Therefore, they wanted to make a
government that would ensure the duration of an just republic. The federalists exclaimed
that the constitution was the only way they could reach this goal of a just society.
As James Wilson had said, the constitution would not give all the power to the
legislature unless it was legally written down to ensure power was not mistreated. In the
constitution, it does allow congress to make laws that help out the government in the area of
execution of foreign powers.
The view of the anti-federalists were obviously different. They believed
that the power given to the congress was not safe since it put them too much in
control. Hence they created the Bill of Rights to “establish justice, ensure domestic
tranquillity and provide for the common defense…” The anti-federalists feared that the
actual people would not be fairly represented by their new government since they would have
the power to get rid of the individual rights of the people. The Bill of Rights claims
it is for and by the people. Especially since America is so large, it does not ensure
everyone’s opinion would be heard. Many people did not like the idea of having representatives
from each state because one man can not bring forth many different opinions. Anti-federalists
believe that liberty only is present when there are few people and they can actually
get their voice projected. In a large population, like America, the citizens do not get
individual freedom and are deprived of their rights.
Yet, Madison a federalist stated that in a small republic, tyranny could be
much more assessable since it would be easier to dominate others. Unlike in a
large republic which is made up of many views where as it is less chance that a few can
dominate others. Even in individual states it is easy to elect officials since people can be
easily controlled when there aren’t many people. In other word, the more the people, the less
chance of bribery and inducement. Another benefit of a larger republic is that there
would be a variety of people representing them and their would be many candidates to pick
from. Ensuring the highest quality government. In a small republic, options would
be very select making it an unfair election.
Besides finding officials to best represent the people, there were many other
controversial topics that faced the American people. The topic of taxation
brought about many different ideas of what should be. The anti-federalists believed that by
forming a new system would be very challenging because that is what they know and use.
The first problem they found was that states would not want to have two state taxes.
This is unfair to the people. They also argued that a state tax was unfair since each state
was different with different needs. This could very well destroy a state economically while
other states be fine.
The federalists believed that congress had all the right to have direct
taxation in ensure the safety of national security. The claimed that the constitution
was created to make sure the sovereign power of the states was protected. The state
legislature was responsible to elect two senators and the presidential electoral process.
As stated before, both sides wanted to create a country where the peoples
voice was heard and tyranny would not happen, but the way to accomplish this was a
conflicting. The topic of power and who got what had torn America apart but
soon enough, they formed a perfect solution in which both views where united to
protect the citizens rights.